Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Growing Your Own Vegetables from Scraps

Inspired by Sherrie Rose Cuchra

When you are cooking and preparing vegetables, do you just throw them away in the trash? Did you know that you can save these food scraps without throwing them away and you could save money on your grocery bill at the same time?  

There are few examples of herbs, fruits, and veggies that you can regrow using just leftover scraps you might have thrown away.

They are easy to grow. Do not throw away the seeds instead rinse off the seeds and plant them. Place tomato plants where they can get full sun. Tomatoes need lots of warm sunshine for optimum taste. 

Green Onions
After chopping the green onion for cooking, submerge the white end with the roots in a container with water (leaving the top of the plant above the water’s surface). You will notice it will begin to grow roots and the green part of the onion will grow back. When you need onions for cooking, you can harvest the green tops and the base of the plant will continue to grow.

Growing celery from leftovers is also not difficult. Leave the base of the plant intact when you chop up the celery. Did the same with the green onion, sit the celery base in water and leave it in the water for about a week. 

When you notice small and yellow leaves growing from the middle of the plant and the outer stalks will start to deteriorate, you can plant your celery in soil, either in a pot or in your garden. 

Romaine Lettuce
Growing romaine lettuce is similar to growing green onions and celery. Cut off the lettuce you plan to use and leave a couple inches at the base of the plant. The romaine heart can then be set in water. New leaves will start to grow from the center and the outer leaves will die (and should be removed). You can eventually plant your romaine hearts in soil and start growing lettuce in your garden.

Try planting ginger if you bought too much fresh ginger root and fear that you won’t use the rest of it before it goes bad.

All you have to do is plant the leftover ginger with the newest buds facing up in moist potting soil. Ginger is a tropical plant, so it prefers humid conditions. Green shoots will come up out of the soil and the roots will spread out. You should be able begin harvesting pieces of the root when you need it after about four months. 

You can regrow a pineapple from its top. Cut off the fruit’s top with a quarter of an inch of the fruit still attached and then scoop out the fruit and let the top dry for a few days. Then press the top into a pot of moist soil media and water regularly. You can also try planting the pineapple top directly into potting soil.

Set your pineapple plant in the sun and keep it away from anything that might dry it out. Pineapple plants typically take around two years to begin producing fruit, but in the meantime, you’ll have a tropical house plant.

When potatoes start to grow eyes, many people might throw them in the trash. These eyes, while not ideal for eating, are actually the beginnings of a new plant, so rather than tossing old potatoes,  grow them.

To grow potatoes, chop them up into a few pieces with a couple of eyes on each piece. Then plant the pieces in moist potting soil and soon they’ll begin to sprout. To grow sweet potatoes, plant the entire potato in moist potting soil.

Once the potatoes sprout, you can actually take cuttings and plant those separately to produce more plants.

Jalapenos and other peppers are very easy to regrow. Take the seeds and plant away. They grow fast, love the heat and require very little care to produce a whole new crop of peppers.

Sometimes garlic cloves start sprouting before you can use all of them. Instead of throwing away sprouted garlic, plant it. It’s easy to take care of and can be grown again and again. Simply plant a clove in soil (sprouted end up, with the papery layer still on) and place the pot in a warm, sunny location. Once the shoots begin to grow tall, you can cut them back to cause the plant to put its energy into making a bigger bulb of garlic. When your garlic bulb is ready to be harvested, you can plant one (or many) of the cloves so you can keep the growing cycle going.

Just place the root end in water and let it start to grow. Once it has been established, transplant it to a small pot and let it mature. Then you can trim the grass to use as you please! 

Your grilled whole chicken taste good if you put lemongrass inside the chicken.
Onions are another vegetable that can be easily grown from scraps. Simply cut off the root end of the onion leaving only a small amount of the onion flesh attached. Plant this just beneath the surface of the soil in a sunny location, and in a few months you should have a new onion. You’ll know the onion is ready when its stalk starts to turn yellow.

Cabbage should be started out by placing the root end in water. Once the roots have started to grow and leaves appear you can plant it in the dirt. Cabbage gets quite large so make sure you give it enough space. The actual part you eat will appear in the center. Do not let it get too big or it will lose much of its flavor.

Try this and in few months you don’t need to buy as much produce and you can save a lot of money for your grocery bills!


  1. Wow! What a great article!!! I didn't realize there were so many vegetables that you can do this with!! This is really fantastic to know about. Thank you for the excellent information!! :)

  2. You are welcome Jessica Edwards!

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